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Around the Bluhmin’ Town


I do not like endings. The hardest word to speak in the English language is “goodbye.” In happy moments and casual interactions, the phrase “goodbye” is just as benign as saying to the clerk at the grocery store, “how are you?” We mean it as a pleasantry and friendly conversational small talk. Some cultures find it odd that we Americans are so “open” with just about anyone. Well, that is the way we do things. We say “hello,” we greet each other, we say “goodbye.”

I went to the airport over the holidays to pick up a close friend. There is something about the airport and masses of people hugging, laughing, crying, waving and even weeping during the holidays, that reminds me of how hard it is part with a loved one. We don’t want our mother to leave, our child to go back to college, or grandkids to head back home. The hardest, most painful word ever spoken may be “good bye” but the word spoken most often is “stay.” And all throughout the airport, in whispered sobs the word “stay” is said a thousand times a day.

Friends are not always easy to come by. Colleagues who have been a part of our lives and bring us joy and support are also a treasure that may grace our lives. To have a loving family is a blessing. To have good friends and wonderful colleagues makes all challenges in the world possible to endure. The people we surround ourselves with can bring us happiness, challenge and fun. They make life worth living!

There are plenty of reasons why the people we like and love end up moving around. That job in Chicago is calling. There is military service. A new adventure awaits. College leads to travel and a new life in a different state. A door opens and we walk through it. Yet the beauty about the Holidays is that all roads lead home and we realize that Christmas is not about the presents, but about who is present with us. And maybe the most poignant New Year’s resolution is to strive to surround ourselves with positive, helpful, kind and caring people.

One of those people for me has been Elizabeth Medora. And you know her too. She has been the Managing Editor and extraordinary writer for the Foothills Focus for many years. You have read her articles many times and her stellar reporting has brought the paper awards and recognition! She has been my editor and sounding board, helping to improve my columns (I am not so good at grammar) and she is a real “treasure.” Sadly, I find that she is leaving for another opportunity.  And I cannot bring myself to say that little evil word, “goodbye.” So I won’t.

The thing about endings, is that if we are lucky, we can learn from the experience. So when I write, I will try to ask myself, “what would Elizabeth say,” or more accurately, “how might I be better.” She is a young, talented and intelligent woman who will go on to do great things. I know we will all miss the contributions she made to informing us about our community.

 So now I feel as though I am standing in the airport, watching a dear friend board a plane. I have no words (and I am a writer). A door has opened and she is walking through it. The only thing I can think of to say right now is “stay.”

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a comment or a story? Email Judy at